I love taking day trips when travelling, and the most popular and arguably best day excursion from Venice is to the surrounding islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.
Each equally charming and picturesque in their own right, it’s easy to hop between all three islands in one day, if you know how.
Here’s my guide to visiting Murano, Burano and Torcello, and why you definitely shouldn’t miss them when you’re next in Venice.
How to reach Murano, Burano and Torcello from Venice
As you’ll probably know, there are no cars in Venice, only boats, and luckily for daytrippers there’s a direct route that runs to all three islands. There are also plenty of tours that offer to take you across to the islands, but there’s really no need to pay more for this when it’s so simple to do it yourself.
Leaving from Fondamente Nove station at the top of Venice, just look for the number 12 line which stops first at Murano, before continuing to Torcello and Burano.
A one-day tourist transport card costs a rather pricey €20 each, but will allow you to board all of the boats in Venice too for 24 hours from first use. Don’t forget to validate your card at the entrance of each station you get on.
If you’ve got cash to flash or are travelling in a group, then you can also get a private boat taxi over to the island, but it’ll cost you well over €100.
Most famous for glass blowing, Murano is filled with boutique and designer shops selling an array of colourful and delicate glass sculptures and jewellery.
I was really hoping to catch a glass blowing demonstration during our visit, but didn’t have time to hunt one down. If you’re interested in learning more about Murano’s world-renowned craft and fancy seeing how it’s done, there are tours you can book in advance which’ll get you access to the factories on the island.
Much like Venice, Murano makes a great place to simply stroll through even without doing any shopping – though you’ll likely pick up a little keepsake along the way.
Not everyone visits Torcello, but if you have the time I’d definitely recommend making the stop. While both Murano and Burano have that classic floating city of canals and islands connected by bridges, Torcello feels like you’ve been transported to the Italian countryside.
Instead of winding streets with colourful houses, green open fields line either side of this tiny village. At its centre, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and Church of Santa Fosca both stand as Torcello’s main attraction.
We skipped a visit inside but did pay €5 each to climb the adjacent clock tower, which I can recommend for great vantage views – just be careful of the bell which chimes on the hour!
Torcello might be small, but it’s green tranquil setting makes a wonderful change of scenery from Venice.
Lying furthest away from Venice out of the three (45 mins), Burano saves the best for last.
This once sleepy fishing village is famous for its brightly painted houses, which you’ll likely have seen pictures of along the canal. But even the compared to the best photos, Burano is so much more charming in real life. This was by far the busiest and most touristy of the three islands, but it wasn’t hard to see why.
While Murano is known for glass, Burano is famous for its lace, and you’ll find lots of shops here selling everything from intricate dresses to delicate lace coasters here.
Seafood restaurants are also in abundance in Burano, with many eateries lining each side of the canals. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to lunch, but for something a little more budget-friendly, try Fritto Misto right by the boat stop which serves generous portions of deep-fried seafood and chips, followed by a gelato in the city.
Have you heard of Murano, Torcello and Burano? Which is your favourite island? Tell me in the comments!